Monday, August 14, 2017

Keyword Research: The Importance of Keywords in SEO (2017 Update)

Optimize your website and keywords to rank faster.

Try using proper keywords in your content and you will attract free traffic from search engines.

How many times have you heard or read this advice? I'm assuming a couple of times.

That's because understanding the importance of keyword research is the first thing when you aim at learning SEO.

This resource will help you understand the most fundamental concept in SEO - Keyword Research.

Let's start with the basics. 

If you've been blogging for a while, you probably know that 95% of your website traffic is actually coming from 5% of your blog posts. In other words, your handful posts might be attracting the most traffic to your website.

Why these posts are getting the most search traffic? What specifically you've done with these posts? That's the question you should ask yourself.

The answer is, those posts might be ranking on the first page for a particular keyword people are searching for.

Which particular keyword is making your post to rank better?

Those posts might be sending some ranking signals to the search engines which is apparently making them rank better. When I say 'ranking' I mean by the position your content comes in a search engine results page (SERP)

You can use a tool like SEMrush and type in your site's address to find the keywords your site is ranking for.

Below is an example of how the tool works:

SEMrush

Let's break this image further.

Keyword: This is a keyword which is driving traffic to a particular URL. When doing SEO for your website, this is the keyword you should target the most (if it's generating the most search traffic to your website) This particular keyword is called the 'Target Keyword'.

Pos: This tells the ranking in the search engines (position). For example: if your website ranked 4 for this keyword, the position would have been 4th.

Volume: It tells you approximately how many searches are being made online for this keyword.

Why Keyword Research is important for SEO?

Now that you have a basic understanding of keywords, let's dive deeper into this topic.

When we try to optimize a webpage for SEO, we have an option to define our target keywords. These keywords are called as 'Meta Keywords'

Though, Google has ruled out that Meta Keywords no longer affect your organic rankings. Back in the year 2012, it was important to include meta keywords, but in 2017 it's irrelevant. However, you can still add 3-4 meta keywords because if not Google, other search engines are still using this as a ranking signal.

Getting started with Keyword Research

Keyword research is the process of find the most relevant and useful keywords for your website. This step is crucial if you wish to attract search traffic to your website. Below are some ways to conduct a keyword research:

#1: Find keywords with SEMrush

This is a tool with which you can easily find targeted keywords for your website, check your rankings and spying on your competitors.

A nice idea would be adding your competitors in your account and check what keywords they're ranking for. Once you have a list of keywords, start creating unique and relevant content around those keywords and optimize it.

SEMrush is basically a paid tool.

#2: Finding keywords using Google Search

Using Google Search can be a very powerful strategy when it comes to keyword research. Google will automatically share suggestions when you type a relevant query in search bar. You can then use a free tool like Google Keyword Planner to find the volume of those keywords.

Finding keywords using Google search
Other tools:

Google Keyword Planner: Official tool from Google. But clearly not as powerful as SEMrush.
Ahrefs: Another popular SEO tool like SEMrush
LongTailPro: A great tool to find long-tail searches around your website.

Once you've found your targeted keywords, start creating optimized content around them.

Keyword density and keyword placement

Well, keyword density is a complex concept.

According to Wikipedia, Keyword Density is basically the percentage of times a particular keyword is reflecting in a webpage compared to the total number of words on that page.

When bots come to crawling on your webpage, they can make fair judgement based signals like these. While 'Keyword Targeting' is important, you should stay away from 'Keyword Stuffing'.

Keyword Stuffing is basically overusing keywords around your content to game the ranking algorithm. Let's face it. Google is smart and the algorithm is way more complex now.

Different SEO experts have different opinions about the keyword density but you should try to maintain it around 2%. Here at this blog, I aim at keeping it at 1.5% to 2%.

You can optimize your webpage for more than one keyword and I would recommend you to keep the count under three because your content will start ranking on indirect searches as well.

What does 'Keyword Stuffing' do anyways?

Overusing keywords around your content sends signal to bots that you might be spamming. Google will impose a penalty on your website thinking that you're tricking the system.

And since the Panda update in 2011 any SEO action that doesn't seem natural to your website will be penalized by Google.

Meta titles, descriptions and headings

Now, you've a got a list of targeted keywords for your post. Make sure you're using that target keyword in the title of your post. You can also add a brief descriptions for your users to read when they make a search around this targeted keyword.

For Wordpress sites, you can use a plugin called Yoast SEO.

Also, try to add H2 and H3 tags in your post to make it more relevant for the search engines and to improve the reading experience as well. By default, the title of your post will be the H1 tag here.

Over to you now

Now that you have a basic idea of how keywords play an important role in SEO, your first tasks is to make a list of at-least 3-4 profitable keywords for your next post.

So that's it. Keep learning and experimenting with the new strategies on the way and you will create a thriving website. Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below.

Take care!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Amazon Affiliate Program - A Guide For Beginner's

Affiliate marketing is one the best ways to make money from your website. Services like Commission Junction and ShareASale affiliate program help you to make money from your website. In this resource, we'll be talking about Amazon Affiliate Program.

Without any confusion, Amazon is one of the world's biggest online marketplaces. Many bloggers, webmasters and companies prefer Amazon when it comes to selling products online.

You can earn up-to 12% commission through their affiliate network and the amount of the commission largely depends upon the type of sale you're making.

amazon affiliate

For example: if you're a tech blogger, you can easily review latest gadgets like mobile phones, camera, laptops and much more. Share an affiliate link in the end of your article and when someone will click on your link and make a purchase, Amazon will give you a certain percentage of the sale amount.

Try to find the best mobile deal on Amazon and you could easily generate some extra income.

Creating an account with the Amazon Affiliate Program depends a lot on your geographical location. For example: if you're a blogger from United States, then you should create your affiliate account through Amazon U.S.

If you're an Indian blogger, you should sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program through Amazon India.

If you wish to sell from all the geographical locations, then you should individually sign up for all the countries.

How to make money through Amazon Affiliate Program?

I would assume that by now you must have created an account with the Amazon Affiliate Program. If not, please go create one now!

The next step is to get links, banners etc for your website. The choice of links will largely depends upon the niche of your blog. For example: if you have a movie review blog, you can share the links of DVD's, Blue-Rays.

If you have a gadget blog, you can share the affiliate links for gadgets like mobiles, cameras, laptops etc.

The money making possibilities from Amazon are endless. However, you need to do it smartly when it comes to using links for your website.

To sign up for Amazon U.S, you can follow this link.
To sign up for Amazon India, you can follow this link.

Do let us know if you're facing any issue with the account creation. Feel free to share your suggestions and opinions in the comments section below.

Take care!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

10 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Hate

The promise you make to yourself when you decide to travel the road less travelled is enormous. You aim to create something you love, with people around you and probably make millions in the years to come.

It's a fact that 62% of millennials wants to start their own business. But, when we talk about entrepreneurship, we talk about a lot of shiny stuff. But the reality for most of the entrepreneurs out there is hard work, patience, peaks and troughs.

And there are particular things successful entrepreneurs just hate because these things demotivates them and slows them down (which they can't afford).

10 things successful entrepreneurs hate

#1: They hate Perfectionist Tendencies
Working on something till it achieves perfection and then launching it only slows down the process. It also mean you might turn a blind eye if any change is required in the future. You should launch in 'Beta' and then keep evolving your product from there.

#2: They hate Ego
You and your work are different. If a project fails doesn't mean you failed. You can always start again. Some things you want to work might not work at all and some might work wonders. All these experiences are valuable lessons which you shouldn't shy away from.

#3: They hate the idea of pleasing everybody
If you offend or isolate someone, you will also generate a group of loyal supporters who love you and what you're doing.

#4: They hate playing it safe
Your competitors will eat your market share if you're unable to decide when to make a product launch. People aren't waiting only for you to launch a product. In order to stand out, you simple cannot play it safe.

#5: Rigid expectations
Successful entrepreneurs are always looking for alternatives that work. They like to skip the mindset of 'What is should like' and focus on finding other opportunities around them. In order to be successful, you must be open to alternatives. You should learn to give it up if it isn't serving you well.

#6: They hate being in a bubble
In order to grow, seeking outside feedback can be very useful. Make sure your work is getting a lot of feedback from a wide range of people. Just creating a product or service because your friends and relatives like it isn't enough.

Each and every individual around you can contribute in this market research which will eventually help you in making your product even better.

#7: They hate not working in teams
Ask for help when you need it. Try to include good friends and trusted partners in your circle. Openly tell them what you're going through, share with them what you're thinking and allow them to do the same to you. A single individual cannot have all the answers and working around teams will make sure that the things are moving.


#8: They hate working for insane long hours
As an entrepreneur you should also enjoy the success you achieve with your family and close ones. Sure there's a lot to be done but you don't want to burn yourself and eventually spoil your health.

Take a good night sleep and fuel up good food. In order to be successful, entrepreneurs must be ready for the long game.

#9: They hate being serious all the time
Adding a zing of adventure to your life will only make the journey more pleasant. Successful entrepreneurs loves travelling, exploring new cultures and playing around their loved ones. Taking a break from your work will help you maintain a competitive edge. You'll feel more energised, inspired and confident.

#10: They hate benchmarking themselves
If you will continuously benchmark with other successful founders and leaders, then you're not respecting the real you. There is no magic formula for creating successful products. Some products might work very well for your business while some products might just fail.

Don't loose focus on what you do and why you're in this business.

Feel free to share any suggestions and opinions in the comments section below.

Take care!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

21 Actionable Ways to Gain More Social Media Followers

Well, it's clear and simple. Your social media marketing strategy will only work if you have some fans or followers. This resource will walk you around 21 actionable steps to increase your social media followers.

In order to make things work for you, you need 3 underlying elements which are crucial for your strategy:

You must be consistent: If you're going to use this strategy for a few weeks and move on to something else, these steps will fail to work. You need to follow these steps on a consistent basis over a long period of time if you want to see real results.

You must understand what your audience is really looking for: What you think they want and what do they really want are two very different things. Your site analytics will give you a clear picture of what type of posts are working out well for you and which one are not.

You must follow social media etiquette: When you aim for increasing your social media following, retaining your existing base is more important.

So, here are the 21 tips which will help you grow your social media following.

#1: Put social media shares button on each of your blog post: Don't forget to include social media share button on your blog posts to encourage sharing your content. There are several Wordpress plugins to help you with that. I would personally recommend you this plugin.

#2: Post relevant, original content: This would require hard work on your end. Thinking about a new topic every-time and writing a blog on it can be challenging, but it's worth it. Try to provide your users with fresh content and they won't shy away from subscribing to your social media profiles.

#3: Link your social media accounts on your About Us and Contact Us page: These people are actually interested in what you do. Make it easier for them to subscribe to your social media profiles.

#4: Be responsive: Posting content on your blog is half the story. Make sure you're replying to the questions, comments and feedback on time.

#5: Talk to influencers in your niche: Find influencers in your niche using powerful tools like Buzzsumo, and then don't shy away from sharing their content, mention them or tag them on social media.

#6: Use relevant hashtags: You can a tool like Hashtagify.me to find trending hashtags which are relevant to your niche. Tag your posts around those hashtags to attract new followers to your account.

#7: Identify popular posts to get more shares: Getting new fans to your profiles often depends upon the type of content that gets the most shares. You can use a tool like Fanpage Karma to find out the most shared posts in your niche.

#8: Channel your email subscribers to your social media accounts: Once in a while, you can ask your email subscribers to follow you on social media.

#9: Hold contests: Hold contests on social media and make liking your Facebook page or following your Twitter profile a requirement. Rafflecopter is a great tool for this.

#10: Mention social media conversations in your blog posts: Blog about conversations happening on your social media accounts in your blog posts to spark engagements. You need to break the blog/social media divide to encourage people to follow you.

#11: Include your social media accounts everywhere: Don't shy away from mentioning your social media accounts around your online and offline marketing communications. Share them in your signature, cards, brochures, newsletters, blog etc.

#12: Focus more on quality than quantity: While posting often is recommended, social media marketing works when you share awesome, shareable content with your fans.

#13: Reshare other people's content: Share posts, tweets and images from other businesses. Mention them and those businesses will be more than happy to send some love your way too!

#14: Cross promote your social media accounts: On a regular basis, cross promote your social media accounts to gain more followers.

#15: Be relatable: Let your fans know that you're a real person and not a business without any face. This will encourage your fans to share your content easily.

#16: Post your best photographs on Instagram: Instagram is a social network with highest engagement rates compared to other networks. Make sure you're sharing high quality content here because that's how can really leverage this network.

#17: Use humor as a part of your strategy: Evoking emotions through your posts can encourage people to share your content. However, sharing happy and funny content online will fetch you more shares overall.

A recent study claimed that moods and emotions are spread by social media.

#18: Set goals: Set realistic, short-term goals of how many followers you're aiming to gain. This will help you stay focused and will actually help you in achieving these goals.

#19: Include social media call to actions on your business card: Give your business card to people you meet, in trade-shows, conferences and all the relevant places which you think might help growing your business.

#20: Facebook promoted posts: Try pumping in some money on Facebook to boost your posts.

#21: Guest blog on relevant niche blogs: Yes. The guest blogging isn't dead. When done right, guest posting can do wonders to your business. Write for relevant blogs in your niche to gain backlinks and more targeted readers for social media.

What other strategies would you suggest in order to grow your social media following? Care to share your knowledge in the comments section below.

Take care!